The Gulf

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:30 pm on 15th January 1991.

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Photo of Hon. Douglas Hurd Hon. Douglas Hurd , Witney 9:30 pm, 15th January 1991

No, I will not give way to the hon. Gentleman.

Many right hon. and hon. Members raised the question of the Arab-Israel situation and linkage. Once the aggression against Kuwait is reversed and Iraq is out of Kuwait, it will be possible and necessary to return to the other problems of the middle east. Everyone concerned—President Bush, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, and the European Community—have made that clear.

We have been working on a solution to the Arab-Israel problem since the foundation of the state of Israel, and even long before then. In recent years, the Security Council has charted the way. It is a conflict of competing claims and rights, and not exactly comparable with any other problem. The territories in question were occupied by Israel in 1967 as a result of an attack planned against Israel which it pre-empted. We do not agree with Israel's occupation of those territories, and we do not believe that it provides a legitimate basis for Israel's security, but the historical basis for it is different from that of the Gulf crisis, and the Security Council resolutions are also different.